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A Few Errors

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Here are some of the reasons for our inaccuracies, elect:

1.  We do not know who to listen to, so we do not know what to hear, how we should hear and what to practise.

Thanks to James the Younger, the church has been living in a state of confusion, almost a split personality if you like.  Most ‘Christians’ do not know the difference between the Old and the New Covenant and their implications, much less the difference between the Kingdom of Heaven and of God.  James’ recommendations and the teachings of his men threw even Peter into confusion and led both him and Barnabas into hypocrisy.  Even the apostle Paul who had so fervently resisted the teachings of the men from James succumbed to the persuasions of James and the elders of the Jerusalem church in Acts 21 and lost the freedom of his ministry.  The church is so confused that there is the often asked question, “Is the pope Jewish?”

The Father and the Holy Spirit wanted us to be very precise as to whom we were to listen to.  That is why They said on the Mount of Transfiguration, “Listen to Him,” [Matthew 17.5; Mark 9.7; Luke 9.35 The Testimony] meaning listen to Jesus.  In order to make this crystal clear to three Jewish men, They had Moses and Elijah stand on either side of Jesus but did not make a single mention of them to the three disciples, Peter, James and John.

In Acts 21.11 Paul forgot the warning of the Holy Spirit, “…the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.”  Had he remembered, he would not have cared to appease those believers who were zealous for the law, as James and the elders suggested, and would have had nothing to do with entering the temple.  Had he stayed away from the Jews of Jerusalem and mingled only with the disciples in Jerusalem, avoiding all things Jewish, he would have remained free, and who knows… perhaps corrected James and the elders of their error with demonstrations of power that had been missing in the Jerusalem church.

How do I know that power had been missing from the Jerusalem church?  Simple.  If the church in Jerusalem under James the Younger and the ‘elders’ were still doing miracles like the eleven were doing in Acts 5, they would not have had to worry about pleasing people.  When you have the power to do miracles, people will stream to you, even if you preach what they do not agree with.  Just look at Jesus’ ministry.  The Pharisees and the Sadducees did not agree with Jesus’ teachings, but yet they attended Jesus’ meetings.  Why?  Because their people were going to Jesus for things they could not provide, and perhaps they wanted to learn Jesus’ secrets, which is why they were so offended when the blind man who had been healed asked if they too wanted to be Jesus’ disciples.

As we listen to Jesus, whom we should listen to is restored.

2.  It is only after we have been restored to listening to Jesus and we dedicate ourselves to the task, that we begin to notice the words of Jesus that are for believers, for disciples and for unbelievers, so that we know what to listen to.  As He said, “Consider carefully what you hear.” [Mark 4.24]  Having listened to Jesus, we must then consider, that is, think about it, discern it, digest it… what we have heard.  Is it for a sinner?  An unbeliever?  A believer?  A disciple?  A servant?  A friend?  A brother or sister?  It is only after we have considered what we hear that more is given to us.

So if you spend your time considering what you have heard from Jesus, the Holy Spirit will give you more, for He is the One who teaches you all things, reminds you of what Jesus has said and makes known to you what belongs to Jesus, including all the words of Jesus that are not written and what He is now saying.

If you spend your time considering what other men have said, then you will be given more of what other men have said, so that you will have even less of Jesus’ words.

Likewise, the fellowship that applies their ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church will hear even more, and not just hear even more, but be entrusted by the Holy Spirit with more manifestations of His gifts.  As for the concerns by many of the fruits of the Spirit versus the gifts of the Spirit, the validity of the presence of the Holy Spirit is verified by the presence of both His gifts and His fruits.

Pagans can manifest love, patience, gentleness, etc. as many of their religions do.  Likewise, many false ministries can manifest some sort of power.  However, the true test of a ministry is when it has the power and yet is able to maintain its patience and perseverance with those who oppose it.  As such, a loving ministry should never impress us, nor a powerful ministry… but one that is both.

3.  After Jesus said, “Consider carefully what you hear,” He said, “…consider carefully how you listen.” [Luke 8.18]

The attitude that we use to listen is just as important, and the differences are best illustrated by Mary, Martha and the Pharisees.  Mary got the better blessing, while Martha received a correction, whereas the Pharisees got a rebuke, a ridicule and finally a rejection on the third day of the temple teachings.

When a person says that he follows Jesus but does not know to listen to Him or does not listen to Him, he is in fact a rebel… knowingly or in ignorance is irrelevant.

When a person listens to the wrong instruction and sincerely obeys that instruction, he is still doing unauthorised works, that is, the work is still unacceptable and even evil.

And when we listen with the wrong attitude, seeking to find fault in the instruction while not applying the instruction verbatim, we are in fact hypocrites like the Pharisees, for that is what they did to the Law of Moses.  They listened to the law and then changed it to their liking, as Jesus said in Mark 7.11.

And so, inaccuracies in our speeches, our preaches, our teaches and our testimonies make us rebels who are evil and hypocrites.  Now, little wonder the devil has been so successful in delaying the return of Jesus… for the church has been helping him.

However, the correction of such errors has not been possible because no one knew the command and no one knew the Testimony.  But praise be to God who leads us in triumphant procession and who in His time delivers those who seek Him.  The command has been restored and the Testimony has been released, giving us accuracy not only in content, but in attitude and timing of the words that He spoke, so that with more practice, the inaccuracies of our speech, which have so hindered us, are removed.

Hr. Ed Kwan, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop

Copyright Information:  NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION [NIV]  All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved worldwide.  www.zondervan.com

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